Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, or they can make people’s hearts sore.
-Dr. Mardy Grothe
If there is any desire that everyone has, it is to be heard, to be listened to, and to be appreciated. Sadly, everyone wants to talk and be heard, but only a few listen to others when they do. Listening isn’t just a skill; in several places in the scriptures, we are encouraged to listen rather than being quick to talk all the time. Those who listen end up being wiser than those whose only aim is to be heard.
Listening isn’t just a skill; in several places in the scriptures, we are encouraged to listen rather than being quick to talk all the time.
In fact, listening is so powerful that the scriptures tell us that when someone who is not even wise chooses to shut his mouth when others are talking will be considered wiser than the whole bunch. Being quiet, intuitive, and choosing to listen come with much wisdom and benefit that cannot be overemphasized.
We actually learn more from listening than by talking. When you talk you are talking out of what you already know. When you listen, you are receiving from the abundance of what someone else knows. While listening is very important and crucial to our growth in knowledge and character, who and what we listen to also matters a lot. The ear receives information which in turn affects the way we think and view life and other people. When you listen to the wrong information, it affects your world-view. When you listen and receive the right information, it also affects you positively. So, care must be taken to ensure that the information we consume and the conversations we find ourselves in aid us rather than destroy us.
When you talk you are talking out of what you already know. When you listen, you are receiving from the abundance of what someone else knows.
For instance, the scripture tells us about Adam and Eve who were in the garden. They lived their lives peacefully and lovingly as a couple until the day the enemy crept into the garden. We are told of how Eve began to have a conversation with the Serpent. The serpent convinced them to take of the tree God had commanded them not to ever eat from. The instructions from God were very simple, but because they listened to the words from the enemy, they were convinced otherwise. Scripture records this,
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:4-6, KJV)
We are told not to even give the devil a room in our hearts to have a conversation.
The devil was able to convince them to disobey the commandment of God because Eve gave him the space to have conversation with her. We are told not to even give the devil a room in our hearts to have a conversation. After all, our conversation should be in heaven from where we wait for the savior –Jesus Christ Our Lord. So, those who we listen to have a great influence on our lives. Another example about this is the analysis given by King Solomon in the book of Proverbs. He mentioned certain kinds of people who always advised others to do wrong. In a way, he was encouraging young men to stay away from such associations. The bible says,
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path.” (Proverbs 1:10-15, KJV)
From the scripture above, it is evident that when we listen to the wrong advice or counsel, there is bound to be trouble. Wrong counsel leads to wrong behavior. This is why we are advised to not dwell in the company of those who are out to do evil or to inflict pain upon others. God wants us to stay close to Him and to fellowship with people of like-minds like ourselves.
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